Carpe Vino in downtown Auburn
Well, I just got back from here and I'm really, really impressed. I live in Hollywood and eat out pretty frequently, and I can say my meal here was one of the best restaurant meals I've had in recent history. We had:
-Salumi plate: Fra'Mani artisanal salumi. Only complaint is the salumi wasn't freshly sliced.
-Asparagus with marcona almonds and lomo: excellent asparagus, perfectly cooked, nice pairing of flavors
-Baby beet salad with citrus, watercress, and feta: Everything very fresh and perfectly prepared and seasoned.
We drank a french sparkling rose, a south african chard, and a santa lucia chard, all very interesting and paired well. I'm admittedly inexperienced with Sierra Highlands wines, and very pleasantly surprised.
For entrees we had the daily fish, which was a halibut with fingerling potatoes, artichokes, some other vegetables, in a barigoule. The fish was cooked absolutely perfectly, crispy on one side and a juicy medium in the middle. We also had the Niman Ranch lamb sirloin with flageolet beans, chorizo, and piquillo peppers. I'm still literally shocked that I just had this meal in Auburn of all places. I've been to Latitudes and thought it was a joke. I had a Syrah from Grass Valley that was great.
Desserts were a chocolate molten cake with ice cream and pistachios, and a strawberry soda with rhubarb ice cream and oatmeal cookies. We had a Zinfandel Port from the Bay Area, can't remember where, and an Ojai late harvest Viognier dessert wine.
Service was excellent and I can't say enough good things about this place. For all this food and wine it came to $190 for 3 people. This may seem high, especially to Auburn-ites who may be more accustomed to Applebees or Chevy's, but for anyone seeking quality food this is quite reasonable. I spent $240 for two at Lucques once and the meal wasn't half as good as this place. Go here quickly before the chefs take off...if they do.